Motu proprio to “coordinate” the two Rites?

I have often said that the best "Tridentine" solution would be to coordinate the calendars of the older and the newer Missal in some way and allow the use of the new prefaces in the older rite.  In this way, the older form of Mass could make a greater impact and accelerate a new organic liturgical development.

Some who sport news about the forthcoming Motu Proprio say no coordination will take place.  Wishful thinking?  It strikes me that coordinating the calendars, even issuing a new form of "Tridentine" Missal with the changes in place and, for example, newer prefaces in an appendix, is exactly the sort of thing that Pope Benedict would want.  I could be wrong, of course. 

Now I read this story from Quotidiano.net (my translation and emphases)

Vaticano, 9 marzo 2007 – An acceleration for the Mass in Latin. 

According to authoritative Vatican sources, the proofs of the Missal according to the rite of St. Pius V are already ready. Catholic publishers are thus setting final copy of the Missal in Latin which will consist of both the specific edition for the altar as well as the one intended for the faithful.

The work will be subject to the approval of the Papal Commission [sic] Ecclesia Dei presided over by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, lately the Prefect of the Pontifical Council [sic] for the Clergy. This is a signal indicating how the Pope, with great deliberation, is preparing the ‘Motu proprio’ with which use of the pre-conciliar Missal will be derestricted. The way could be opened up before Easter and, in addition, Cardinal Estevez Medina [sic] took the opportunity to announce that the ‘Motu proprio’ is "imminent".

….

Compromising this report are, of course, the little errors I indicate.  However, what is related here is not out of keeping with other things I have heard. 

We shall see soon enough.  Frankly, I hope that what is related above is true. 

In the meantime, there ought to be some coordination of the calendars one way or another.  This would be really tricky, and I am not sure how this would work in light of pre-Lenten Sundays.  It could be that a partial coordination of the calendars for the celebrations of the feasts of saints would be all that is necessary.

I frankly don’t care if the new calendar is abandoned in favor of the older (which ain’t gonna happen) or the newer calendar is used to coordinated celebrations of the so-called "Tridentine" Mass with the rest of the Church each day.  The new saints and some new propers could enrich the older Rite, as could an option to use newer prefaces.  In no way would I condone, however, the expunging of the pre-Lenten Sundays.

This is all speculation of course.  And I am sure that the truly "fly-in-amber" Traditionalists will completely freak out at the suggestion that the newer Rite has anything useful for the older Rite.  But… happily… they don’t make these decisions.

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40 Responses to Motu proprio to “coordinate” the two Rites?

  1. Paul McL says:

    Father,

    The main problem with changing the old sanctoral calendar in favour of the new, is that it would mess up the Breviary.

    One of the biggest losses in the new liturgy is that the Office and Mass no longer have any synchronization. Whereas in the old liturgy, this synchronization is total.

    New saints in the old calendar is no problem. The commons can be used in the Breviary on those days. But, moving saints all over the place to new dates, just for coordination with the new mass will completely mess up the Breviary too.

    And that is leaving aside the near optional nature of every element of the new calendar, compared to the much more mandatory nature of the feasts in the old calendar.

  2. Vincent Uher says:

    Fr Z., one thing I pray the Holy Father will do is take the traditional Words of Consecration and put them into the Novus Ordo so that there is only one formula and that being the one arising from Rome’s unique tradition complete with “mysterium fidei” within the consecratory words and not set apart from them for a different function that is, introducing an embolism…

  3. Jeff says:

    Somehow I don’t envision too many Trads accepting the new calendar but being a Trad myself I don’t believe we should be forever stuck in 1962 either. I’m all for seeing names like Padre Pio and Edith Stein appear on the liturgical calendar.

  4. Fr. Sanders says:

    Fr. Z:

    Thanks for your Blog. It is a great contribution to the Church.

    I am wondering, however, about the possibility of the two Rites being synchronized? When I read the original text, I could not identify anything that might lead me to that conclusion. Could the review by the Ecclesia Dei Commission not be required for other purposes? If memory serves me correctly (and it has been known to let me down with increasing frequency!), the USCCB requires missals to be approved or reviewed before publication. I assume this procedure is to insure that the publisher did not make any modifications to the text etc… Therefore, it seems to me that this might be what the quotidiano.net article could be referring to. Of course you may have other sources but the text of the article doesn’t lead me to conclude that the Rites will be synchronized.

  5. “But, moving saints all over the place to new dates, just for coordination with the new mass will completely mess up the Breviary too.”

    Presumably if the calender for Mass can be changed the calender for the Breviary can be reformed too. Now this requires printing new books and will of course take a long time, but that’s life.

    “One of the biggest losses in the new liturgy is that the Office and Mass no longer have any synchronization.”

    There is some synchronizaton I believe, the antiphons for the gospel canticles correspond with the Mass readings, IIRC.

  6. Fr. Sanders: The way you read it may indeed be the case. You make a very good point.

  7. R says:

    Honestly I think the process of lifting restrictions on the ancient rite is so significant and carries so many threats from the left, that the Holy Father will not state anything about reforming the calendar. If it is in his plans, I would think it would secondary and not mentioned at all until he can see what ramifications the moto proprio will have upon the Church. He has time on his side.

  8. GCC Catholic says:

    Father,

    For those of us not completely aware, could you pass along some details (a link even would be fine) explaining the pre-Lenten Sundays. Also, why do we no longer celebrate them in the same way under the newer calendar?

    Thank you.

  9. John Polhamus says:

    A Scene in the Narthex. This may seem off topic, but it has to do with what we can expect here in Manohey influenced lands, and probably elswhere subject to liberal bishops, when the church begins to introduce tridentinism as well as to reorient the Novus Ordo. Last night after programming Forty Days and Forty Nights, Attende Domine and Parce Domine, which were both sung half in English, I was lectured and chastised in the church porch by the cantankerous old priest of our parish, who said “I don’t want to hear any more Latin in anything!! Do you understand?!” I said, “But Father, you made the list of Hymns for Lent yourself, and told me to choose from them. There are only five selections on it, and three of them are latin!” “Forget the list!” he blustered in front of witnesses, and started to walk off. I said, in some frustration, “What are you so afraid of?” “Listen,” he says, “Maybe we need to find another organist, so you do as I say!” I retired from the porch and replied, “That’s entirely up to you.” Which of course it is, but the Choir director, who is a member of the Adoremus society, and the Church Music Society of America, was also told to drop the Kyrie and Agnus, they just couldn’t tolerate it.

    He himself told a parable in his sermon yesterday evening, the old liberal chestnut about “When they came for the communists, I was silent and said nothing; when they came for the socialists, I was silent and said nothing…” you know, the one that’s supposed to help us to identify with persecuted leftists, and political causes which in turn persecute Catholics and Catholic doctrine and dogma. This is a good job, but I am going to have to tell him, “Father, when they came for the mass, the Latin language, the integrity of my religion, I wasn’t silent, I said NO, and I marched in a procession or reparation.

    Now, this is an elderly, sick and bad tempered priest, but he is also a priest under the Cardinal of the 99%, and will follow the party line catering to them at the expence of loyalty to Rome. So look out, there’s a split coming in Southern California. I think Traditionalists (and those interested in traditionalizing the Novus Ordo) would do well to need to stratagize and be seen to support the Apostolic Exhortation, if it’s as strong as we hope it will be, and the Motu Proprio if we’re lucky enough to have it. When Benedict was elected, about forty of the younger crowd gathered in front of Immaculate Conception Church in Old Town, and sang the Te Deum from the church steps to a surprised public. Such public outings are going to be needed. Viva il Papa!

  10. Quo Vadis says:

    Interesting post and insights as always Father. One hopes and prays. It is indeed deeply necessary that the liturgical life develops in an organic, balanced and genuine way, with simple prescriptive imposition being destructive, arguably one the fundamental problem and results of the Novus Ordo as so many have pointed out. For me, in looking at the changes in the Churches liturgy over time a deeper understanding of the concept of the Mystical Body of Christ has been useful.

    Pius XII, I think summed things up so well in his two Encyclicals, Mystici Corporis Christi and Mediator Dei.

    To be so bold as to quote from Mediator Dei ‘ The Church is without question a living organism in respect of the Sacred Liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded.’

    As a postgraduate student of medieval Church History it is obvious that this principle has operated in the past, and in my opinion, not allowing it to happen can only lead to greater division and destruction in the long term.

  11. See: SEPTUAGESIMA; SEXAGESIMA; QUINQUAGESIMA; QUADRAGESIMA in the old Catholic Encyclopedia at http://www.newadvent.org.

  12. STRAW MAN ALERT
    And I am sure that the truly “fly-in-amber” Traditionalists will completely freak out at the suggestion that the newer Rite has anything useful for the older Rite. But… happily… they don’t make these decisions.

    The fly-in-amber types are by no means the only ones who know that in the new order the calendar and divine office have been diluted even more than the ordinary and propers of the Mass itself. Anyone who follows both old and new rites carefully on a daily basis knows this all too well. No one who does this can fail to lament the impoverishment of scripture in the new Mass and office, particularly on many Sundays and daily throughout the whole season of Lent.

    Whereas the effect of the new calendar has been to destabilize the liturgy as a whole by largely vitiating the careful coordination of office and Mass readings, most of the traditional Catholics I know would surely welcome the addition of some of the new saints and some of the beautiful new prefaces.

    But we can, indeed, be very happy that such decisions now will not be made (as they were circa 1969) by experts with pet theories, but by our Holy Father. In the Fontgombault volume Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, under the heading “The Future of the Missal of Saint Pius V”:

    “I well know the sensibilities of those faithful who love this Liturgy—these are, to some extent, my own sensibilities. ….. And in that sense we have to be very careful about any possible changes. ….. But, for the future, we ought to think—it seems to me—in terms of enriching the Missal of 1962 by introducing some new saints; ….. Thus, opening-up the calendar of the old Missal to new saints, making a well thought-out choice of these, that seems to me something which would be appropriate at present, and would not have any destructive effect on the fabric of the Liturgy. We might also think about the Prefaces, which also come from the storehouse of wealth in the Church Fathers, for Advent, for example, and then others; why not insert those Prefaces into the old Missal?”

  13. RBrown says:

    My guess is that their providing the means of celebrating newer saints using the 1962 Missal.

  14. RBrown says:

    Should be “they’re providing”.

  15. FranzJosf says:

    To me, one of the glories of the Roman Catholic Church is her full understanding of human nature.
    For no other reason than that, I don’t think that the traditional calendar will be changed at this time. People like me would freak out over not having the Feast of the Precious Blood on July 1, for example. Other than adding propers for new saints, I don’t think we’ll see much change. For instance, I notice that some traditional chapels and churches celebrate the Circumcision on Jan. 1, but the ’62 missal suppressed that title. Then there is the let’s-feel-good-and-CELEBRATE-togetherism of white vestments for the Candlemas Procession and doing away with the ‘Judica’ on the same day. The bitterest pill of all is the ‘restoration’ of Holy Week in 1955(6). The Institute has permission to use the pre-1955 Holy Week (at the new hours,
    I’m told) while the FSSP uses the newer Holy Week. That’s not to say that changes couldn’t come
    in the future or that all these attachments are completely rational. I just think that the Holy
    Father won’t want to rattle the cage of traditionalists at this moment, for pastoral reasons.

  16. John: I wonder whether you’d speculate that the bitterness of many elderly priests like you describe may stem partly or largely from regret that early in their pastoral careers they bought into a dream now faded, an agenda gone awry.

  17. I’ll be really shocked if this happens because it would be taking a terrible chance. If the calendar and all is suddenly given to us, with instructions for Mass in Latin, even partially in Latin, it will not be followed by most Catholic parishes for a couple of very good reasons:

    1) Priests here obey the bloc of bishops over the Holy See in almost every case–it’s like dealing with a corporation here. The punishment for looking to the Holy See instead of one’s bishop is ABSOLUTELY HUGE. I have not yet heard “for many” instead of “for all,” as an example. It’s like it never happened, which is the norm in American parishes.
    Make no mistake, some of the “niceness” seen in American prelates is for show only. Indeed, the whole post-VAtican II thrust (USCCB et al) has been to set the bishops up as independent arbiters of the Church in the United States. (Recall Weakland, Mahoney, Bernardin, etc). The church is currently more “clerical” than at any time in the last 1000 years, I believe, with laypeople even trying to get into the act.
    There is a hotly denied but genuine de facto schism in place, which should be no surprise to anyone reading this. A similar thing exists in France, Germany, Austria, etc, each with its own deadly dynamic, but the result is the same. That is the real story of the aftermath of V2. (The blame was placed on the everyday Catholic’s “peasant practices” & “compartmentalization” (a smoke screen); the real dynamic happened much further up the chain at the power level most Catholics never see.)

    2) Most priests here either don’t know any Latin or will refuse to use it. Many priests (at least here), believe it or not, are NOT very well educated. They don’t have preparation in concise thinking in any discipline (mathematics, philosophy or what have you), and their seminary formation has been very, very poor. Most of them cannot answer simple questions about theology or history, having been taught ahistorical feel-good ideas about religion. Many of them sincerely think they’re *supposed* to run social service organizations with fluffy agendas, so they don’t understand what would be wrong with following a gay agenda, a womens’ agenda and so on, especially since who they see in the pews is guess who–and it looks like a constituency in our social system. Remember that we have a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” dynamic in the States. Some priests patently don’t believe the faith as it is stated by the Catholic Church in Rome and think dissent can be “faithful,” while not precisely defining what “faithful” might be (because many of them don’t have the logical training to do that from the missing experience in a discipline carried out precisely–math, literary analysis, or what have you.)

    3) The common public doesn’t have a clue about what is going on and it would hit them like a bomb. MOST would like it, I think, but a few vocal ones, including most of those most involved at the parish level (who are NOT representative of the rest of us) would exhibit reactions which are unknown at this point…They might have a devastating critique at the parish level–not good for the faithful–At. All. It would undermine the whole thing for many folks–just like V2 did.

    The safer way to do this would be to give the church the tools, support and permissions required to enable it to pick up where the thread of organic development left off. That is, something more like previous accounts of what the MP would be like–permission for a priest to say the Tridentine on his own, people to attend privately, etc–A THIRD WAY.

    People will unwittingly “carry” it to the NO as they travel back & forth between the two, like seeds travel through the air. When one of the three drifts too far afield it will be drawn back by comparison until the three merge because:
    a) of the effort required to maintain all three.
    b) people will migrate to the third by nature–God hates ugly and he’ll have a little talk with each person, trust me.
    c) people *need* this to survive in the world.
    d) the Church historical and beautiful wills it for future generations.

    The ecclesial structure in the USA would come around eventually as the situation normalized and people flowed to the third way. Even bishops would normalize over time. Some of it is happening as we speak, with respect to orthodoxy and so on. Much of it is being driven by laypeople who’ve had enough and by young seminarians who believe the faith, thanks to PJP2 and the Holy Spirit.

    This dynamic would also have the effect of shifting the power from the “spirit of V2″ career hotshots who are firmly entrenched to those more willing to listen to Rome and history. We would be able to follow more of the Holy See’s recommendations on EMEs and so on as a result.

    Remember, the whole problem is that we left the organic thread and went off into synthetic liturgy parties which many people now think they can just generate at a whim and the party concession is usually run by the chancery, formally or otherwise. An order to mandate another synthesis will not remedy this.

    At some point, we do need a calendar repair, but it’s not the most important priority here (yes I know it’s part & parcel, but it has to take it’s place). Of course, I will go with whatever the Holy See asks, but I am merely a layperson so I don’t count for much. But there are a growing number like me out here…..

  18. I agree I hope that the two calendars would be coordinated and if a community wishes to adhere strictly to the old calendar they could petition the bishop for permission.In so far as the new rite I would think the restoration of the sundays after Pentecost would be fitting (and ecumenucal too ,for the episcopalians still date their sundays that way).In fact the sundays in ordinary time could be kept with the addition of the number of the sunday after pentecostr.The pre-lenten season would be restored but not with purple vestments and the loss of the alleluia.They would still be kept for lent but you would still have the gradual introduction to Lent.I’m talking about the new rite. As for the older rite I would hope for the allowance of the readings in the vernacular as well as motets (not the proper or ordinary)in the language they were written.Someone has said if these were allowed (which I doubt)the old rite would become a serious threat to the new.

  19. TJM says:

    John Polhamus: I feel for your difficult situation. Because my livelihood does not depend on the Church I’ve actually taken on old cranks like you’ve describe with great relish. I told one liberal priest, when we got in a debate over Latin, that “Father, you confirmed, what I always thought: there is no one more illiberal than a liberal.” He was furious , and I went on, “you don’t give a tinker’s damn about the decrees of Vatican II, you simply invoke the Council to promote your own agenda.” It was a therapeutic moment for me. But don’t give up. I have found that younger priests are much more emenable to Latin and Catholic Tradition. Tom

  20. The interaction John Polhamus describes has happened here, only it is almost exactly reversed: some parishioners, including some participants in our music program, have confronted our music director, and me, complaining about “all that Latin” and “too much” Latin. (Nb: we are using the Latin Sanctus during Lent and Easter; prior to Lent, we had been using the Latin Agnus Dei periodically, but we are using English, while we learn the Latin Sanctus. And we occasionally use a hymn that includes Latin.)

    Michigancatholic: my understanding was that the “for many” was going to begin with the new translation. Wasn’t that what Arinze’s letter said, that it would be reflected in the new translation?

    I would be happy to use it, but what remains to be seen is how “pro multis” will be translated in English. You may say, “for many,” I may say, “for the many”; Fr. Z may say, “for the multitudes” — but none of us is competent to translate the Mass for use in liturgy. So we wait, do we not? Anyone know anything different?

  21. Fr. John P says:

    Michigancatholic said : “I have not yet heard “for many” instead of “for all,” as an example. It’s like it never happened, which is the norm in American parishes.”

    Perhaps the other Fathers who read this blog can inform me, can I indeed use “pro multis” now? I know that the Holy Father has legislated its use in the new translation, but since the long expected translation of the Missale is not here yet, I am indeed allowed? Personally have committed myself to “doing what’s in red and saying what is in black” adhering strictly to the text and rubrics as the Popes have insisted I do.

  22. Fr. John P says:

    Fr. Fox,

    I think that we must of had the same question at the same time! hehe I hope that the remainder of your Sunday is a restful one.
    God Bless

  23. Go Ram! says:

    While USCCB attempts to increase their influence over the liturgy in the US, their standing amongst the ‘man in the pew’ is among the lowest it has ever been. I have NEVER heard lay people praise or even compliment the Bishops as a corporate body (although as individuals, some get props). In overreaching, they will end up undermining themselves especially as younger Catholics — who combine (a) growing up in a culture of dissent so do not have the instinctive respect for bishops of earlier generations and (b) a loyalty to Rome and the magesterium inspired by JPII but now a phenomenon in its own right — simply ignore them. Nobody cares about the USCCB documents, except the extent that we can’t ignore them, i.e. liturgical ones. But Rome (deo gratias) is slowly acting to erode that power, making the conference almost completely irrelevant. And new appointments seem to be men of a different mode as well…

  24. Go Ram,

    The problem is that no matter how dissatisfied the majority is with the way things are run by the bishops contra Rome, it doesn’t matter to them what we think as long as they have the stuff they’re after.

    That’s the real joke. When normal laypeople and the young want orthodoxy which they totally NEVER EXPECTED TO HAPPEN, they don’t want to give it. They want to tell us what we want and come out the hero-daddy-figures who gave it to us. It’s a power thing. So they lose TWICE and they just can’t bring themselves around to admit it to themselves. Or anyone else, even though it’s written all over their foreheads.

    It galls many of them that the young want orthodoxy. It galls them for us to look to Rome, as many have learned to do. PJP2 made these types angry, but Benedict XVI makes them apoplectic.

  25. Perhaps you are right about “for many” coming in the next set of translations, Fr. Fox. The confusion is palpable amongst those of us who are even paying attention. But we also have laypeople cleaning the vessels. Wasn’t that supposed to be fixed right away? And we have literally ARMIES of EMEs.

  26. Michigancatholic:

    In fairness to our bishops, they issued three documents a few months ago, that address important issues, and did so fairly well. Documents I think that would not have come out in years past. And I confess I have yet to do anything with them; I have been thinking about presenting them, one at a time, to my parishes, through a series of homilies. But now, I am waiting to see what the document on Tuesday will say, as I may do that with it, first.

    But at this point, as far as teaching, the bishops have provided some that I have yet to pass along.

  27. Alex says:

    The Vatican and the Holy See itself are divided on these issues.
    Liberals in the Vatican City are outraged and furious about even minor concessions.

    As to the prefaces, at our Holy Mass in the passed-down (traditional) Roman Rite,
    we have always had a preface for Advent and the Blessed Sacrament. The Diocese of Liège
    and the Ambrosian Rite and Sarum Use territories preserved us a lot of these.

    I do not need Bugnini’te artificial prefaces, I guess. Certainly not from the drawer
    of flies who are stuck in the late-1960s and early-1970s amber still and continue to believe
    in neo-protestantizing, marxistizing and radicalizing against those “oppresive old days of the Church
    which are definitely gone since 1960!”

  28. mike says:

    Father Z,

    We don’t really know what you do – but why aren’t YOU in the BACK rooms hashing this business out? Why is it we never see you and Hoyos in the same place at the same time? Hmmmmmmm…

    m

  29. Michigan:

    I am not defending those who are dragging their feet, and there are many clergy who do so.

    But that said, I can tell you that it isn’t easy introducing “change” of any sort, including that which “tightens up.” This may sound funny, but you have “to program” this sort of thing: you have to work backward — if a change will begin on May 1, then for a certain number of weeks prior, explanation and rehearsal is needed leading up to it.

    Oh, except that that overlaps with Palm Sunday, Easter, first communion, confirmation, etc. Lots going on then; okay, so how about June 1? Then, how long do we give folks a chance to digest that, before the next thing?

    Meanwhile, if a change is going to involve servers, or readers, or extraordinary ministers (I hear your teeth gritting, but they aren’t going to go away overnight, and if you have them, they must be properly trained), then you have to plan a series of meetings for these folks, and then plan followups with all those who won’t be able to attend those meetings, and then you have to be prepared, in the sacristy, to answer questions for many weeks, for all those who either slipped through the cracks, or did attend the meetings, but didn’t get everything the first time. And there’s the cantors, the musicians, perhaps the ushers, the sacristans who set and clean up, and the office staff, who will get lots of questions, and so it goes.

    And all that has to be “programmed” along with everything else going on; because the reality is likely to be that the priest will direct most liturgical change, rather than delegate it; and so he has to fit this in.

    And, you have to be practical — if you want people to be receptive, and to comprehend it, you have to think about how this fits, or overlaps with, other things going on: so maybe summer isn’t so good a time, as folks travel, or maybe Lent and Easter not so good, just lots going on, etc.

    Of course, when the diocese handles it all, and provides a plan of action, that helps. Ah, but what if the worship office of the diocese is not on the same page as the pastor?

    Somebody said that Vatican II was good for the laity and bishops, but not good for priests; I’m beginning to think that’s correct.

  30. Honestly, Fr. Fox, I pay no attention to what the USCCB prints at my expense. I only wish I could shut their printers down after “Always Our Children,” “Environment & Art in Catholic Worship,” and their many other misadventures in print. Much of that stuff is generated by staff anyway, too many of whom are still in their employ, and too many of whom are dissidents.

    The USCCB has nothing to say unless it is said in unison with the Holy See, which means it has virtually nothing to say. That is until it, as a body, decides to straighten up, clean up the defacto defection and speak in accord with the decisions of the Holy See. And actions speak louder than words, so when I see them, officially as a group, obeying all the directives from Rome, only then will they be fit information sources.

    You see, the Internet is a wonderful thing. We are no longer captives to the manipulation that surrounded the faulty implementations of Vatican II. We can read the documents of the Holy See directly, and the Holy See knows it. Ever notice how quickly they post nowdays–simultaneously to us and the USCCB. No accident.

    It’s a peace and justice issue.

  31. Fr. Fox,

    Respectfully, I want to suggest something to you:

    If you have people providing services in your parish that are so aloof from and separated from what goes on in the news of the Holy See that it takes literally months to get them to come around to small changes, then you might possibly have the wrong people working/volunteering for you.

    I know this might go against the grain of your training, but you are not just some kind of consensus leader, you know. You could manage this. Just a suggestion. Use it or not, no offense.

  32. As a courtesy to our genial host, I should comment on his presenting question:

    I would like to see some resolution of the calendar issues relating to the Pian and Pauline rites. The question is, as always, when and how.

    There are so many liturgical and textual issues needing attention: so many of the rites of the Church, having been translated in haste, need to be revisited; the rituals themselves likely need further attention, just as the Pauline Missal needs attention; the Liturgy of the Hours needs attention, the book of blessings — oh, what a mess that is!

    While there is plenty of room to lament the state of things, on the premise that the Vatican Council had reason to call for some change, some reform, then an unsettled period is not at all surprising. We must have confidence that when the work really is complete, the results will be good, the liturgy truly will be renewed, and the fruits will be lasting. I.e., take the long view.

  33. Sean says:

    Father, does the Italian original carry any nuance as to the missal proofs being first impressions (a new 2007 missal) or reprints (the existing 1962 missal). The English translation is quiet regarding this distinction.

  34. Michigan:

    It would be very easy to dismiss any or all the volunteers I have. I don’t agree that that would be wise. I fail to see how that would help.

    In my judgment, it is preferable to have the wind at your back, than to have it in your face. Sometimes you can’t do anything about that, of course; but if you can work things so you have more wind at your back, it helps you get where you want to go, faster.

  35. Michigan:

    I posted too quickly; of course one may need to dismiss volunteers. I meant something wholesale or preemptory.

  36. Fr. Fox,

    Very well said. But if you want the wind at your back, then you might want to make sure the wind blows the same way you are going so that it will not be so difficult to get where you want to go. Perhaps, you might need to tune the velocity and direction a bit by up-playing or adding some people and downplaying or pacifying/keeping busy others??

    Again, just a suggestion…….

    There’s an old saying in Bangladesh about sending someone on the never-ending job: straightening a dog’s tail. ;)

  37. And I don’t mean to be cursory or unkind here….because I realize full well that many well-meaning, very nice, sort of normal laypeople have been led to the (FALSE) conviction that if they don’t participate in “ecclesial ministry,” somehow they are risking their eternal souls. Their feelings should not be hurt, but they also don’t need to be running any sort of things with an opinion like that. I trust you get what I mean. Perhaps there is something they can do that will move them more in the direction of more proper lay activity, call it “ministry” if you want, but it will encourage them to develop deeper understandings of the faith in all the ways the Holy See interprets & defines it with what she says and has said through the ages……

  38. Sean says:

    Fr. Fox, with complete respect the overlaps with lent/first communion, the need for meetings, etc come over as excuses for postponment rather than real issues. There is never a ‘right time’, there are no entrenched rights within your parish. You are the boss.

  39. Sure, and Sean, I’m not picking on Fr. Fox, of course. He’s really doing a lot–you can see it on his blog.

    And I know how hard it is when all these laypeople have these confused beliefs about their roles. I was just suggesting what I was thinking about the things that are possible to make this turn around better and more faithful to the Church (with a capital “C”). =)

    And honestly, also putting it here for anyone to see, because I think a lot of priests need to feel that they *do* have the authority to go with the responsibility of fairly but wisely managing these things–for the spiritual good of all the parishoners–in line with what the Church genuinely teaches.

  40. Folks: I think I will shut comments down now. I don’t have the energy to monitor them tonight. G’nite!